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Case study: Land West of Stevenage

6 Nov 2023

This site has a long planning history; when Tyler Grange was brought in to support with Landscape and Arboricultural advice in 2019, the initial planning documents provided for our review had been created in 2001. The previously proposed development on the site was a 5000 home scheme which faced fierce local opposition and was ultimately refused.

The brief

The project was a joint venture between Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes who were seeking permission for the development of 1,500 homes and ancillary uses including 10,000sqm employment area, a residential care home, mixed use local centre, a neighbourhood square, a primary school, GP Surgerey, public open and amenity space (with sports pitches and play area), landscape and ecological enhancements and associated services infrastructure.

The clients were looking to submit a hybrid application: a 390 unit scheme as a full application (including 117 affordable homes and four self-build plots) and 1,110 in outline.

As their application would be subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations, they required a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment that formed an Environmental Statement (ES) Chapter, and an Arboricultural Impact Assessment as a technical appendix.


The team

This project was managed by Charlie Davies, Senior Landscape Consultant, with additional support from:

  • Misho Baxendale, Senior Ecological Consultant and Arboricultural Technician
  • Jack Jewell, Director
  • Karishma Ladva, Landscape Consultant
  • Rose Perkins, Senior Landscape Consultant

The client team was led by Jonathan Pillow, Project Director at Taylor Wimpey Strategic Land. We also worked closely with Alex Bennet at M-EC (Engineering), James Harman  at Omega Architects (Masterplanning) and JB Planning (Planning Consultants).

The challenge

The project was subjected to a Design Review Panel with Design South East, which added additional scrutiny to the proposed plans and required further support from Tyler Grange to liaise with the Council’s appointed landscape experts.

An unexpected event which affected all involved in the project was the COVID 19 pandemic, Tyler Grange was able to continue providing support throughout this period as the country learned to adapt to home working life.

The approach

We worked closely with the local authority, attending multiple pre application meetings to identify and resolve issues early on and agree solutions. In addition, our attendance at regular design team meetings was required to inform the masterplanning process; our close involvement resulted in a broadening of our scope and resulting inputs including detailed planting plans and an Open Space Principals document to support the hybrid planning application.

Adapting the brief

Tyler Grange was one of the first consultancies to be involved in the project. A site visit was taken at the earliest opportunity to allow us to prepare our initial thoughts and highlight the key constraints; providing the masterplanners with steer early on.

The results

Planning permission was granted in 2022.

Our inputs included:

  • Initial site appraisal with key opportunities and constraints;
  • LVIA ES Chapter
  • Liaising with the Council at pre-application stage;
  • Regular design team meetings to inform the masterplan progression;
  • Liaising with the Council at Design Review Panel meetings;
  • Detailed planting plans
  • Open Space Principals document;
  • A full BS:5837 Tree Survey;
  • Arboricultural Impact Assesment; and
  • Tree Constraints Plan

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